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Category Archives: Cooking

Dreamy Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

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I guess technically this is shells and cheese.

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Warning:  I think this dish might be the reason I didn’t lose any weight last week.  But I am not going to hold that against it.

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Isn’t it beautiful?  2.5 pounds of squash, 6 garlic cloves, sprig of thyme, 2 cups of almond milk, and 2 cups of chicken stock.   Cook the squash until tender.  If you’re lucky enough to have an immersion blender this would be the time to pull it out.

Cook a pound of small pasta and then combine with the puree.

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At this point I was pretty sure that I had just made soup with some pasta.

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Never underestimate the power of the oven:  cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375.

Top with a mixture of panko, garlic, parsley, and salt.  If you’re using garlic don’t make the mistake I made.  It seems that I always wind up with really strong garlic when it’s not going to be cooked.  Add a touch of Gruyere and put it under the broiler for five or ten minutes.

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Even my husband liked this, until I made the mistake of telling him that it was squash.

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I should disclose that some salt wouldn’t hurt.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

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Roasted Tomatoes with Barley

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Seriously, y’all, why aren’t we roasting tomatoes every day, or at least once a week?

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Toss your tomatoes with 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast for 45 minutes at 350.  You will not be disappointed.  CK actually calls for two cups of cherry tomatoes on the vine.  Good luck finding that at your local supermarket.  I used these little San Marzanos.

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The dressing is just the basics:  2 tablespoons of olive oil and red wine vinegar with 1 tablespoon of Dijon and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.  So easy.

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I don’t know if you can see it in there, but there’s actually some thinly shaved fennel.  I used the mandolin and then stirred it into the barley as it cooled.  I think it pretty much melted.  Toss with arugula and goat cheese.   It’s a hearty salad for a fall day.

I often will write the date and a note on the recipe page.  The word I chose for this one:  heavenly.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

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I think this might be my first pumpkin recipe of the season.

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Try to contain your excitement.

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I know a lot of people say that they can’t eat yogurt without granola.  For me, it’s the other way around.  Of course I can eat a handful solo, but then what else do you do with it?  In fact, I was going to take a picture on top of the yogurt, but really the granola is what’s important here.

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I think I went overboard on the flaxseeds.  You can tell if you look really close.

Mix together the following:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup flaxseeds

2 TB coconut

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

2 TB vegetable oil

1 tsp sea salt.

Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake at 325 for 15 minutes, give it a stir, and bake for 15 more.  I actually shut the oven off and left it in there until cooled.  Then mix in 1/3 cup of dried cranberries and 1/3 cup of dried cherries.  Then stock up on the yogurt.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

Sunday Summary

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Monday:  I had a short morning job with an economist.  Good times.  Jake had to take the MARTA to the airport.  I’m not too broken up about that.

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Tuesday and Wednesday:  I worked all day.  I hate when that happens.

Wednesday is weigh-in day and I’m sorry to report that there was no loss this week.  But never fear.  I am one of those crazies that get on the scale every day; so I know there was some fluctuation down the past couple of days.   I am not ready to trade in Candice Kumai just yet.

Thursday:  My first day off in 12 days.  There’s nothing like drinking a latte on my own couch.  The rest of the day is a blur; it took the whole day to recover from Tuesday and Wednesday.

Friday:  I had a 1:00 downtown at the courthouse.  You know what that means?  That means a latte two days in a row.

I made this Kale and Fennel Caesar from Cook Yourself Sexy.

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Yeah.  It was pretty gross.  I’m not a fan of Caesar salads to begin with.  I can tell you right off that that sardine was only on the plate for the picture.  I like to think I’m culinarily adventurous, but I just couldn’t do it.  Maybe I should have chopped it up.

I finally watched The Blind Side.  It only took three years for it to get to the top of my Netflix queue.   I didn’t actually cry, but it was touching for sure.

Saturday:  I went to World Market today.  I feel that I should go to some sort of meeting and confess that I bought some Christmas ornaments.

I also made some Faux Peanut Butter-Banana Ice Cream from — guess where — Cook Yourself Sexy, which I always want to call Crazy Sexy Cool.

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This is faux because it’s made with frozen bananas and a little bit of almond milk.  Fine by me.

I also watched My Week with Marilyn.  It was good, but I was more intrigued by the Vivien Leigh portion.

Sunday:  I went on the hunt for dried rose petals today.  Williams-Sonoma?  Nope.  Fresh Market?  Nada.  Whole Foods?  None.  Trader Joe’s?  Negatory.  BUT the guy at the check-out suggested an Asian market.  Uh, maybe like the International Farmers Market right down the street from my house.

Good Deed of the Week:  Be kind to yourself.  Seriously?  When are these deeds going to start to be challenging?  My whole existence is predicated on being kind to myself.  If it makes me sound any better I usually encourage other people to do the same for themselves.

Eat Well and Savor.

Miso-Glazed Cod

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With Spicy Garlic-Braised Baby Bok Choy.

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I love cod, but I always think it looks like a prehistoric creature once it hits the plate.

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I must have had teenager bok choy because I could only fit half of it in the pan.

I love when you have two dishes that can cook at the same time and the same temperature.

A six-ounce portion of cod and two heads of bok choy make the perfect little 400-calorie meal.

Thanks, Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Bridemaid’s Slimming Soup

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Sorry about hitting you with the extreme close-up right away, but the other shots had a little shine and I did NOT want you to think that this soup is greasy.  Let me tell you about this soup:

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It is fabulous!  First of all, it makes eight servings.  I’m usually good for four.  Five is pretty much the limit.  I figured I could throw some sausage in there and give the leftovers to my husband.  He never even knew it was in the fridge.  I ate it all by myself.

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Those are leeks back there.

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I may have gone a little overboard on the thyme, but have you ever heard anyone say, uh, I think there’s too much thyme in here?

Here’s the basics:  cook a cup of barley and set aside.  Saute all of the above for about 12 minutes.  Add six cups of chicken/vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.  Add two cups of chopped kale and simmer for ten.  Stir in the cooked barley.

Here’s where it gets crazy:  add 1/2 cup of walnuts.  If you think it’s nuts to add nuts to soup, think again.  They add a nice little crunch.

This was in CK’s seven-day plan.  Apparently if you have to be in a wedding and wear a fancy dress it should help you slim down.  CK has done this several times.  Personally, I’ve been an MOH or a BM four times, but the only wedding I ever slimmed down for was my own.  If I was more organized I would torture you with some photographic evidence.  You’re welcome.

Anyway, CK recommends a toasted pita with the soup.  I am a wholehearted dip-your-PB&J-into-your-soup kind of girl.  And a few saltines on the end won’t hurt either.  I’m here to tell you that the toasted pita was an excellent choice.  I scooped some soup by the bite.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

Gone Bananas Chocolate Oatmeal

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Isn’t interesting how the most simple things are the most amazing?

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I highly recommend natural peanut butter.  CK suggested it, but I read right past it; so this one is my beloved honey roast Peter Pan.  The next three days (and into eternity) I used (and will use in futuro) the natural version.  I also used Ghiradelli Midnight Reverie.  I couldn’t resist the name.

Don’t forget the moderation:  one serving is half of a banana, one square of chocolate, two teaspoons of peanut butter, 3/4 teaspoon of brown sugar.  Oh, and 1/2 cup of oatmeal cooked to your liking.  The magic number is 335 calories!

In case my opinion isn’t clear:  this was a perfect fall breakfast that I will be repeating many times until next spring.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.